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Private Fostering An introduction Start. Menu DefinitionStatistics Why is it important? Whose responsibility is it? What safeguards are in place? Our.

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Presentation on theme: "Private Fostering An introduction Start. Menu DefinitionStatistics Why is it important? Whose responsibility is it? What safeguards are in place? Our."— Presentation transcript:

1 Private Fostering An introduction Start

2 Menu DefinitionStatistics Why is it important? Whose responsibility is it? What safeguards are in place? Our procedures Frequently asked questions Knowledge check End

3 Introduction Many children who are privately fostered are not known to be privately fostered by the services, institutions and people working with them. Privately fostered children are much more vulnerable because of their invisibility, and because services do not always record and report information about them. Under new regulations identifying, recording and reporting children who may be privately fostered is everyone’s responsibility. The responsibility falls on all people or agencies whose work brings them into contact with children and young people. MenuNext

4 Definition ‘A private fostering arrangement is essentially one that is made privately (that is to say without the involvement of a local authority) for the care of a child under the age of 16 (under 18 if disabled) by someone other than a parent or close relative with the intention that it should last for 28 days or more… The period for which the child is cared for and accommodated by the private foster carer should be continuous, but that continuity is not broken by the occasional short break.’ National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering DfES 2005 MenuNext

5 Definition 2 What does this mean? A privately fostered child is a child or young person looked after by someone other than a parent, step-parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or grandparent who has no parental responsibility for a period of more than 28 days. MenuNext

6 Definition 3 A private fostering arrangement is only legitimate if: the parent gives informed consent Devon County Council knows about, and agrees with, the arrangement. It is not private fostering when children live with, and are cared for by, their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents or step- parents. Note For some older children, especially teenagers, their parents know where they are and, while not ‘consenting’, choose not to intervene. Effectively this may be classed as private fostering. MenuNext

7 Definition 4 Examples of private fostering arrangements are: a child or young person from overseas staying with a UK host family for educational or health reasons a child or young person unable to live with their family for a period of time, for example due to ill health of parents, parental work commitments or care concerns a teenager temporarily estranged from their parents a child at boarding school who lives with another family in the holidays for more than two weeks MenuNext

8 Statistics Key facts for year ending March ,649 children were reported as being cared for and living in private fostering arrangements in England – an increase on previous years. 60% of privately fostered children were born in the UK – a decrease of 5% on 2010 The number of privately fostered children born in Africa was 6% - a drop from 10% in 2010 MenuNext

9 Statistics Private fostering arrangements by place of birth March 2011 MenuNext Other includes Middle East, Oceania, Canada, Central America and South America

10 Statistics Private fostering arrangements by age March 2011 MenuNext Source: Department for Education 2011

11 Why is it important? Privately fostered children are often made more vulnerable by their living circumstances and by their status, as they are often not identified and made known to their local authority. In his report on residential care services Lord William Utting said that: ‘private fostering is among the least controlled and most open to abuse of all the environments in which children live away from home.’ MenuNext

12 Victoria Climbié was brought to the UK in April 1999 from the Ivory Coast by her great-aunt Therese-Marie Kouao. Victoria had been brought to the UK in a private fostering arrangement to have the opportunity for a good education. She died on 25 February The Home Office Pathologist found 128 separate injuries on her body and stated that it was: “the worst case of child abuse I’ve encountered.” In his enquiry Lord Laming highlighted concerns about children in private foster care. Subsequent guidance has emphasised the duty of local authorities to safeguard privately fostered children. MenuNext

13 It is the responsibility of everybody whose work brings them in to contact with children and young people to report private fostering arrangements. That means you! Whose responsibility is it to report private fostering arrangements? MenuNext

14 What safeguards are in place to protect privately fostered children? We use The National Minimum Standards for Private FosteringThe National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering These say that: all local authorities (like DCC) have a duty to assess the suitability of a private fostering arrangement all privately fostered children should have a named worker who visits them regularly the parent of the privately fostered child retains parental responsibility during the private fostering arrangement all services have a responsibility to: promote awareness of private fostering actively identify and report privately fostered children act to safeguard and support privately fostered children. MenuNext

15 Our procedures These are flowcharts of our procedures which must be followed whenever we are notified about a privately fostered child. MenuNext H4a Private Fostering Arrangement Process H4c Private Fostering Visits Process PF1 form PF1 form and PF2 formPF2 form

16 Frequently asked questions I have concerns about the status of a child - what should I do? I don’t work for DCC – is this my responsibility? I know a privately fostered child, but they seem fine – do I need to tell DCC? What if an arrangement DCC knows about changes? Will telling DCC breach a young person’s confidentiality? Where do I get more information? Menu

17 If you become aware of any private fostering arrangements, or an arrangement that you think may be private fostering, you should tell the DCC Private Fostering Team by calling or ing If you are not sure and would like to discuss the situation with a member of our team I have concerns about the status of a child, but I’m not sure if it’s private fostering arrangement, what should I do ? FAQ

18 I don’t work for DCC social care services – isn’t it their responsibility to gather this information? It is everyone’s responsibility to report any circumstances which may be private fostering. Victoria Climbié died because individuals, teams, agencies and systems failed to gather and share information. DCC is responsible for following up reports and assessing the suitability of the arrangement and visiting the child regularly. FAQ

19 Yes, you do. We cannot assume that everything is fine without checking. DCC has a duty to assess the suitability of the arrangement to ensure that the child’s welfare and safety is being promoted and that the child’s needs are being met. The death of Victoria Climbié while being privately fostered shows that if situations are not checked children may be in danger. I know of a child being privately fostered, but they seem fine – do I have to tell DCC? FAQ

20 DCC should be notified about any significant changes to a private fostering arrangement within 48 hours. Significant changes include: change of address someone joining or leaving the household any household member having a court conviction, a disqualification from fostering or any limits on how many children they can foster the child leaving the private foster carer’s address the death of the child. What if an arrangement that DCC knows about changes? FAQ

21 You will not be breaching confidentiality by notifying DCC, you will be ensuring that the child or young person is safe. If you believe a child is in a private fostering arrangement you must tell the DCC Private Fostering Team on or If it is appropriate you should tell the child or young person that you are contacting us. I know about a young person in a private fostering arrangement – will telling DCC breach their confidentiality? FAQ

22 Contact the DCC Private Fostering Team on or If you think a child may be living in a private fostering arrangement Visit for a DVD on Private Fostering produced by BAAFhttp://dscb.info/children-and-young-people/ Visit for DCC information on Private Fosteringwww.devon.gov.uk/cyps-privatefostering See also British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Rights 4 Me Somebody Else’s Child Where do I get more information? FAQ

23 Lucy is 12. She has been spending a lot of time with her friend Kelly’s family because her mum and dad are going through an unpleasant divorce and she finds the arguments unsettling. Lucy has asked if she can live permanently with Kelly’s family. Lucy’s mum and dad think this is a good idea as the disruption is starting to affect her school work. Would this be a private fostering arrangement? Knowledge check 1 Yes No

24 Correct! Lucy will be staying with someone who is not a close relative and the arrangement is likely to last for more than 28 days – so this would be a private fostering arrangement. MenuNext

25 That is not correct You may want to re-read the private fostering definition slides MenuBack Private fostering definition

26 Steven is 5. His mum has gone in to hospital for an operation and the doctors have advised her that she will not be able to look after Steven for up to two months while she is recovering. Steven will stay with his grandmother until his mum is well. Would this be a private fostering arrangement? Knowledge check 2 Yes No

27 Correct! Steven will be staying with a grandparent so this arrangement would be kinship fostering and not private fostering. MenuNext

28 That is not correct You may want to re-read the private fostering definition slides MenuBack Private fostering definition

29 Baako is 15. He has come to the UK to study and learn English. His parents have arranged for him to live with an English host family for the duration of his schooling. He plans to visit his family every three weeks. Would this be a private fostering arrangement? Knowledge check 3 Yes No

30 Correct! Even though Baako will be seeing his parents at intervals of less than 28 days, this would still be a private fostering arrangement because ‘continuity is not broken by the occasional short break’. MenuNext

31 That is not correct You may want to re-read the private fostering definition slides MenuBack Private fostering definition

32 Carrie is 17 and has a mild learning disability. She wants to move in with her boyfriend and his family and her parents have no problem with this. Would this be a private fostering arrangement? Knowledge check 4 Yes No

33 Correct! Although Carrie is 17 this would still be a private fostering arrangement because she has a disability. Menu

34 That is not correct You may want to re-read the private fostering definition slides MenuBack Private fostering definition


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